Is this a Good Time to Sell my Business?
This is a commonly asked question we get at BizExchange, and a very natural one.
Business Owners or Managers typically ask this question in the context of either the Market, the Economy, or the Political Climate.
These are certainly significant, and at the time of writing with new taxes just announced, business confidence low, consumer sentiment declining, and an overall feeling of uncertainty, we might be inclined to think we should just pull our heads in for now, and get on with as much business as usual as we can find.
However, these indicators are just part of the picture. What about the business itself? How is it doing? Is the business Profitable? Is it Growing? What Opportunities has it identified that are worth pursuing?
Irrespective of the political or economic climate, if you are even just thinking about MAYBE selling your business, its Fundamentals must be right. How do those well known Business Measures the Balance Sheet, and the Profit and Loss look? There is no time better than now for getting these into good shape. What is the level of Debt like? How are the Cash and the Debtors?
Now is certainly the time to be paying attention to all this. To tighten your grip on the management of your business. No one is going to buy a business for a fair price, unless it is in ‘good shape’. No matter whether you are having a good year, an average year, or a poor year, there is always the opportunity now to tune the fundamentals.
And what about you: are you still interested in the Business? A prospective Purchaser will be impressed by your enthusiasm for your business. If that is on the wain, why? Do you feel, for whatever reason, the business is driving you; you are not driving the business? Do you have the right tools [especially software or applications] to keep up with your business?
What is going on with other businesses in the same segment? Is yours leading, keeping up with, or chasing after the pack?
Irrespective of our political and economic climate, we have raised 14 questions here, the answer to each of which is a critical piece of answering the original question: is now a good time to sell? All these things we have touched on are worth looking at, and if they are not in great shape, now IS the time to be attending to them!
If you are thinking of selling, do you have the answer to another very fundamental question: have you identified: who is going to buy it?
This is a really necessary piece of prior to selling research. Because, if you have not identified any prospective Purchasers: how do you make your business a more attractive offering to prospective Purchasers?
So you see, that even in so-called down or uncertain times there is still plenty you can be doing that will add to the value of your business, and its attractiveness when you do decide to sell it.
Perhaps you are wondering whether it is possible to sell your business anyway, in not so good times. It certainly is! There are opportunistic, cashed up, successful companies, groups of individuals, and just people around at all times. In fact, less rapidly moving times can create just the environment for a successful company to devote more of its valuable management and planning time to considering an acquisition.
If selling your business at some time in the not so far distant future IS on your mind, then certainly now is as good a time as any for answering all the above questions. It is also a good time to be taking a helicopter view of your business, to see what needs improvement.